Monday, July 06, 2009

Why The Conservative Supremes Matter

Well, you know it anyway, but it's always useful to document:

The Supreme Court heard five environmental law cases in the term that ended Monday, and environmental groups lost every time. It was, said Richard J. Lazarus, a director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, "the worst term ever" for environmental interests.

The court allowed Navy exercises using sonar that threatened whales off California. It limited the liability of companies partly responsible for toxic spills. It made it harder to challenge Forest Service regulations and easier to dump mining waste into an Alaskan lake. And it allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to use cost-benefit analysis to decide how much marine life may be killed by cooling structures at power plants.

Business groups expressed measured satisfaction with the decisions.

"The court does seem to be bringing more common sense back to environmental law," Robin S. Conrad, a lawyer with the United States Chamber of Commerce, said at a recent news briefing.

Merrily skipping towards disaster, we are, led by John Roberts.